When Bitcoin started catching the attention of the mainstream media it came with a promise of revolution and the potential to replace money as we knew it. Bitcoin was being bigged up as something that did not need the banks, regulators, or any sort of legacy financial system.
Things have changed somewhat since those days. Bitcoin is still striving to be part of the mainstream system, but those promoting it as a financial alternative have come to realise that it needs to fit the system than remake the entire thing.
However, there is even a drive in the traditional space, for cash and outdated money to be digitized and upgraded somewhat. Central banks are looking at Central Bank Digital CUrrencies and other types of stable coin. For some, this represents a threat towards the dollar and the old-fashioned cash bill, but big banks are not afraid.
Deutsche Bank has revealed in a recent report that while digital payments will remain popular over the next decade, they will not be able to dethrone cash.
Of course, dollars, and other currencies, have long been digitized as individuals, enterprises, and investors move money around without ever coming into contact with it. This digital system, however, has started to become obsolete with its high centralisation and controlling force from banks and other institutions.
In order to try and counter this, cryptocurrencies and their decentralized systems offer a new wave for banks to try and keep up with. In the survey from Deutsche Bank responses were taken from 3,600 of its customers across several major economies- including China, Germans, France, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The survey was aimed at exploring growing trends in cash, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, mobile, and online payments.
It found 33 percent considered cash to be still their preferred means of making payments, including 69 percent of respondents from the United States. When they examined the growing cryptocurrency space, the report concluded that since cryptocurrencies are still in their earliest stages of adoption, there is still a lot of potential for them to continue growing across the world as a means of payment.
A new era on the horizon
We currently sit on the precipice of a change in the way payments are made. Cash still hangs in there but is being replaced by digital options especially in places like Sweden. However, the question to be asked is not if cash will eventually be phased out, but rather, what will be taking its place.